Though summer is now in full swing for students, teachers and administrators at schools around the country have their work cut out for them in terms of developing a reopening plan for the fall. It’s incredibly important for school districts to work closely with the public and with health officials to determine these plans moving forward, in order to preserve the best interest of students while abiding by safety guidelines.
Yesterday, San Diego Unified School District presented its reopening plan to the public. However, they dramatically limited public comment on the plan. Comments for the livestream discussion had to be submitted six hours early and were limited to 150 words. Additionally, no parts of the plan were made available to the public until the livestream started—far too late for those with questions to submit their comments through the submissions system.
The approved plan will allow students to either continue engaging in distance learning or return to in-person schooling. The same holds true for teachers, who will be able to work remotely if they choose. While many things remain unclear for the reopening plan, the fact that SDUSD essentially prevented public input is not a good sign for what’s to come.
It appears that San Diego Unified isn’t very interested in hearing what concerned parents have to say. Students and parents are going to have to make decisions on their education moving into the 2020-2021 school year, and now more than ever we need transparency from school districts to understand what’s happening from an administrative standpoint. Sadly, we can only hope some will come in the future.